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Enter NERISSA, with a Servant.

Ner. Quick, quick, I pray thee, draw the curtain straight;

The prince of Arragon hath ta'en his oath,
And comes to his election presently.

Flourish of Cornets. Enter the PRINCE OF
ARRAGON, PORTIA, and their Trains.

Por. Behold, there stand the caskets, noble prince:

If you choose that wherein I am contain'd, Straight shall our nuptial rites be solemniz'd; But if you fail, without more speech, my lord, You must be gone from hence immediately.

Ar. I am enjoin'd by oath to observe three First, never to unfold to any one [things: Which casket 'twas I chose; next, if I fail Of the right casket, never in my life To woo a maid in way of marriage; lastly, If I do fail in fortune of you choice, Immediately to leave you and be gone.

Por. To these injunctions every one doth

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You shall look fairer, ere I give, or hazard.
What says the golden chest? ha! let me see:
Who chooseth me, shall gain what many men
What many men desire. That many may be
By the fool multitude, that choose by show,
Not learning more than the fond eye doth teach;
Which pries not to the anterior, but, like the

Builds in the weather on the outward wall.
Even in the force‡ and road of casuality.
I will not choose what many men desire,
Because I will not jump with common spirits,
And rank me with the barbarous multitudes.
Why, then to thee, thou silver treasure-house;
Tell me once more what title thou dost bear;
Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he

And well said too: For who shall go about
To cozen fortune, and be honourable

Without the stamp of merit! Let none presume
To wear an undeserved dignity.

Oh! that estates, degrees, and offices,

Were not deriv'd corruptly and that clear

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Ar. What's here? the portrait of a blinking idiot,

Presenting me a schedule? I will read it.
How much unlike art thou to Portia ?
How much unlike my hopes and my deserv

Who chooseth me, shall have as much as he deserves.

Did I deserve no more than a fool's head!
Is that my prize? are my deserts no better?
Por. To offend, and judge, are distinct offices,
And of opposed natures.

Ar. What is here?

The fire seven times tried this;
Seven times tried that judgment is,
That did never choose amiss:
Some there be, that shadows kiss ;
Such have but a shadow's bliss:
There be fools alive, I wis,
Silver'd o'er; and so was this.
Take what wife you will to bed,
I will ever be your head:
So begone, Sir, you are sped.
Still more fool I shall appear
By the time I linger here:

With one fool's head I came to woo,
But I go away with two.-

Sweet, adieu! I'll keep my oath,
Patiently to bear my wroth.

[Exeunt ARRAGON, and Train.
Por. Thus hath the candle sing'd the moth.
O these deliberate fools! when they do choose,
They have the wisdom by their wit to lose.
Ner. The ancient saying is no beresy ;-
Hanging and wiving goes by destiny,
Por. Come, draw the curtain, Nerissa.
Enter a SERVANT,

Serv. Where is my lady?

Por. Here; what would my lord?

Serv. Madam, there is alighted at your gate A young Venetian, one that comes before To signify the approaching of his lord: From whom he bringeth sensible regreets; + To wit, besides commends, and courteous breath, Gifts of rich value; Yet I have not seen So likely an embassador of love: A day in April never came so sweet To show how costly summer was at hand, As this fore-spurrer comes before his lord.

Por. No more, I pray thee; I am half afeard, Thou wilt say anon, he is some kin to thee, Thou spend'st such high-day wit in praising him.

Come, come, Nerissa; for I long to sce
Quick Cupid's post, that comes so mannerly.
Ner. Bassanio, lord love, if thy will it be !



SCENE 1.-Venice.-A Street.

Enter SALAN10 and SALARINO. Salan. Now, what news on the Rialto? Salar. Why, yet it lives there uncheck'd, that Antonio hath a ship of rich lading wreck'd on the narrow seas; the Goodwins, I think they call the place; a very dangerous flat, and fatal, where the carcases of many a tall ship lie buried, as they say, if my gossip report be an honest woman of her word.

Salan. I would she were as lying a gossip in that, as ever knapp'd ginger, or made her neighbours believe she wept for the death of a third husband: But it is true, without any slips of prolixity, or crossing the plain highway of talk,-that the good Antonio, the honest Antonio, that I had a title good enough to keep his name company!

§ Agree with.

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Salan. Let me say amen betimes, lest the de-I vil cross my prayer; for here he comes in the likeness of a Jew.


How now, Shylock? what news among the merchants?

Shy. You knew, none so well, none so well as you, of my daughter's flight.

Salar. That's certain; I, for my part, knew the tailor that made the wings she flew withal.

Salan. And Shylock, for his own part, knew the bird was fledg'd; and then it is the complexion of them all to leave the dam.

Shy. She is damn'd for it.

thousand ducats in that; and other precious, precious jewels.-I would my daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear! 'would she were hears'd at my foot, and the ducats in her coffin -No news of them?-Why, so :-and know not what's spent in the search: Why, thou loss upon loss! the thief gone with so much, and so much to find the thief; and no satisfaction, no revenge: nor no ill-luck stirring, but what lights o' my shoulders; no sighs, but o' my breathing; no tears, but o' my shedding.

Tub. Yes, other men have ill luck too; Antonio, as I heard in Genoa,—

Shy. What, what, what? ill luek, ill luck? Tub. -bath an argosy cast away, coming from Tripolis.

Shy. I thank God, I thank God:-Is it true? is it true?

Tub. I spoke with some of the sailors that

Sular. That's certain, if the devil may be escaped the wreck.

her judge.

Shy. My own flesh and blood to rebel.

Salan. Out upon it, old carrion I rebels it at

these years?

Shy. I say my daughter is my flesh and blood. Salar. There is more difference between thy flesh and her's, than between jet and ivory; more between your bloods, than there is between red wine and rhenish :-But tell us, do you hear whether Antonio have had any loss at sea or no?

Shy. There I have another bad match : a bankrupt, a prodigal, who dare scarce show his head on the Rialto;-a beggar, that used to come so smug upon the mart;-let him look to his bond: he was wont to call me usurer; let him look to his bond: he was wont to lend money for a Christian courtesy ;-let him look to his bond.

Salar. Why, I am sure, if he forfeit, thou wilt not take his flesh; What's that good for?

Shy. I thank thee, good Tubal ;-Good news, good news: ba! ha!-Where? in Genoa ? Tub. Your daughter spent in Genoa, as I heard, one night, fourscore ducats. Shy. Thou stick'st a dagger in me--I shall Fourscore ducats at a never see my gold again: sitting! fourscore ducats!

Tub. There came divers of Antonio's creditors in my company to Venice, that swear he cannot choose but break.

Shy. I am very glad of it: I'll plague him; I'll torture him; I am glad of it.

Tub. One of them showed me a ring, that he had of your daughter for a monkey.

Shy. Out upon her! Thou torturest me, Tubal: it was my torquoise; I had it of Leah, when I was a bachelor: would not have given it for a wilderness of monkies.

Tub. But Antonio is certainly undone.

Shy. Nay that's true, that's very true: Go, Tubal, fee me an officer, bespeak him a fortnight before, I will have the heart of him, if he forfeit for were be out of Venice, I can make what merchandise I will: Go, go, Tubal, and meet me at our synagogue; go, good Tubal; at our [Exeunt.

SCENE II.-Belmont.-A Room in PORTIA'S

Shy. To bait fish withal: it it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and hindered me of half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bar-synagogue, Tubal. gains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew: Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? if you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? if we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? revenge: If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian ex-I ample? why, revenge. The villany you teach me, I will execute; and it shall go hard, but I will better the instruction.

Enter a SERVANT. Serv. Gentlemen, my master Antonio is at his house, aud desires to speak with you both. Salar. We have been up and down to seek him.

Enter TUBAL.

Salan. Here comes another of the tribe; a third cannot be matched, unless the devil himself turn Jew.

[Exeunt SALAN. SALAR. and SERVANT. Shy. How now, Tubal, what news from Genoa? bast thou found my daughter?

Tub. I often came where I did hear of her, but cannot find her.

Shy. Why there, there, there, there! a diamond gone, cost me two thousand ducats in Frankfort! The curse never fell upon our nation till now; I never felt it till now :-two


and Attendants. The caskets are set out.
Por. I pray you, tarry; pause a day or two,
Before you hazard; for, in choosing wrong,
I lose your company; therefore, forbear a while :
There's something tells me, (but it is not love,)
would not lose you; and you know yourself,
Hate counsels not in such a quality :
But lest you should not understand me well,
(And yet a maiden hath no tongue but thought,)
would detain you here some month or two,
Before you venture for me. I could teach you,
How to choose right, but then I am forsworn;
So will I never be so may you miss me;
But if you do, you'll make me wish a sin,
That I had been forsworn. Beshrew your eyes,
They have o'erlook'd me, and divided ine;
One half of me is your's, the other half

Mine own, I would say, but if mine, then

And so all your's: Oh! these naughty times
Put bars between the owners and their rights;
And so, though your's, not your's.--Prove it so,
Let fortune go to hell for it,-not 1.

I speak too long; but 'tis to peize the time;
To eke it, and to draw it out in length,
To stay you from election.

Bass. Let me choose;

For as I am, I live upon the rack.


Por. Upon the rack, Bassanio? then confess What treason there is mingled with your love.

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Bass. None, but that ugly treason of mistrust, Which makes me fear the enjoying of my love : There may as well be amity and life 'Tween snow and fire, as treason and my love. Por. Ay, but I fear, you speak upon the rack,

Where men enforced do speak any thing.

Bass. Promise me life, and I'll confess the truth.

Por. Well then, confess, and live.
Bass. Confess and love,

Had been the very sum of my confession :
O happy torment, when my torturer
Doth teach me answers for deliverance !
But let me to my fortune and the caskets.
Por. Away then: I am lock'd in one

To be the dowry of a second head,
The skull that bred them, in the sepulchre.
Thus ornament is but the guiled⚫ shore
To a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf
Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word,
The seeming truth which cunning times put on
To entrap the wisest. Therefore, thou gaudy

Hard food for Midas, I will none of thee:

Nor none of thee, thou pale and common drudge 'Tween man and man: but thou, thou meagre lead,

Which rather threat'nest, than dost promise aught,

Thy plainness moves me more than eloquence, of And here choose I; Joy be the consequence! Por. How all the other passions fleet to air, As doubtful thoughts, and rash embrac'd despair,

If you do love me, you will find me out.-
Nerissa, and the rest, stand all aloof.--
Let music sound, while he doth make nis choice;
Then, if he lose, he makes a swanlike end,
Fading in music: that the comparison

May stand more proper, my eye shall be the


And watʼry death-bed for him: He may win;
And what is music then? then music is
Even as the flourish when true subjects bow
To a new-crowned monarch: such it is,
As are those dulcet sounds in break of day,
That creep into the dreaming bridegroom's ear,
And summon him to marriage. Now he goes,
With no less presence, but with much more

Than young Alcides, when he did redeem
The virgin tribute paid by howling Troy
To the sea-monster; 1 stand for sacrifice,
The rest aloof are the Dardanian wives,
With bleared visages, come forth to view
The issue of the exploit. Go, Hercules!
Live thou, I live:-With much much more dis-

I view the fight, than thou that mak'st the fray.
Music, whilst BASSANIO, comments on the
caskets to himself.

1. Tell me, where is fancy + bred, Or in the heart, or in the head? How begot, how nourished? Reply. 2. It is engender'd in the cyes, With gazing fed, and fancy dies In the cradle where it lies:

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And shudd'ring fear, and green-ey'd jealouɛy.
O love, be moderate, allay thy extacy,
In measure rain thy joy, scant this excess;
I feel too much thy blessing, make it less,
For fear I surfeit !

Bass. What find I here?

[Opening the leaden casket. Fair Portia's counterfeit ? What demi-god Hath come so near creation ? Move these eyes? Or, whether, riding on the balls of mine, Seem they in motion? Here are sever'd lips Parted with sugar breath; so sweet a bar Should sunder such sweet friends: Here in her hairs

The painter plays the spider; and bath wOVER A golden mesh to entrap the hearts of men, Faster than gnats in cobwebs : But her eyes, How could he see to do them? having made one,

Methinks, it should have power to steal both his, And

leave itself unfurnish'd: Yet look, how far

The substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow,

In underprizing it, so far this shadow
Doth limp behind the substance.-Here's the

The continent and summary of my fortune.
You that choose not by the view,
Chance as fair, and choose as true!
Since this fortune falls to you,
Be content and seek no new.

If you be well pleas'd with this,
And hold your fortune for your bliss,
Turn you where your lady is,
And claim her with a loving kiss.
A gentle scroll ;-Fair lady, by your leave;

[Kissing her.

I come by note, to give, and to receive.
Like one of two contending in a prize,
That thinks he hath done well in people's eyes,
Hearing applause, and universal shout,
Giddy in spirit, still gazing, in a doubt
Whether those peals of praise be his or no ;

So, thrice fair lady, stand I, even so;

As doubtful whether what I see be true,
Until confirin'd, sign'd, ratified by you.

Por. You see me, lord Bassanio, where I

Such as I am thongh for myself alone,

I would not be ambitious in my wish,

as To wish myself much better; yet, for you, I would be trebled twenty times myself;

And these assume but valour's excrement,
To render them redoubted. Look on beauty,
And you shall see 'tis purchas'd by the weight;
Which therein works a miracle in nature,
Making them lightest that wear most of it:
So are those crisped suaky golden locks,
Which make such wanton gambols with the

Upon supposed fairness, often known

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A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times More rich;

Than only to stand high on your account,

I might in virtues, beauties, livings, friends,
Exceed account: but the full sum of me
Is sum of something; which, to term in grosa,
Is an unlessou'd girl, unschool'd, unpractis'd:
Happy in this, she is not yet so old
But she may learn; and happier than this,
She is not bred so dull but she can learn ;

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Happiest of all, is, that her gentle spirit
Commits itself to your's to be directed,
As from her lord, her governor, her king.
Myself, and what is mine, to you, and your's
Is now converted but now I was the lord
Of this fair mansion, master of my servants,
Queen o'er myself; and even now, but now,
This house, these servants, and this same my-I

Are your's, my lord; I give them with this ring,

Which, when you part from, lose, or give away,
Let it presage the ruin of your love.
And be my vantage to exclaim on you.
Buss. Madam, you have bereft


me of all

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Ob then be bold to say, Bassanio's dead.
Ner. My lord and lady, it is now our time,
That have stood by, and seen our wishes pros-

To cry, good joy; Good joy, my lord and lady!
Gra. My lord Bassanio, and my gentle lady,
I wish you all the joy that you can wish;
For I am sure, you can wish none from me :
And, when your honours mean to solemuize
The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you,
Even at that time I may be married too.
Bass. With all my heart, so thou canst get a

Gra. I thank your lordship; you have got me


My eyes, my lord, can look as swift as your's:
You saw the mistress, I beheld the maid;
You lov'd, I lov'd; for intermission +
No more pertains to me, my lord, than you.
Your fortune stood upon the caskets there;
And so did mine too, as the matter fails :
For wooing here, until I sweat again;
And swearing, till my very roof was dry
With oaths of love: at last,-if promise last,-
I got a promise of this fair one here,

To have her love, provided that your fortune
Achiev'd her mistress.

Por. Is this true, Nerissa?

Ner. Madam, it is, so you stand pleas'd withal.

Bass. And do you, Gratiano, mean good faith?

Gra. Yes, 'faith, my lord.

Bass. Our feast shall be much honour'd in your marriage.

Gra. We'll play with them, the first boy for a thousand ducats.

Ner. What, and stake down?

Gra. No; we shall ne'er win at that sport, and stake down.-

But who comes here? Lorenzo, and his infidel ? What my old Venetian friend, Salerio?

Bass. Lorenzo, and Salerio, welcome hither;
If that the youth of my new interest here
Have power to bid you welcome :-By your

I bid my very friends and countrymen,
Sweet Portia, welcome.

Por. So do I, my lord;

They are entirely welcome.

Lor. I thank your honour:-For my part, my lord,

My purpose was not to have seen you here;
But meeting with Salerio by the way,

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He did entreat me, past all saying nay, To come with him along.

Saler. I did, my lord, And I have reason for it. Commends him to you.

Signior Antonio

[Gives BASSANIO a letter.

Bass. Ere I ope his letter,

pray you, tell me how my good friend doth. Saler. Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind; Nor well, unless in mind: his letter there Will show you his estate.

Gra. Nerissa, cheer yon' stranger; bid her welcome.

Your hand, Salerio; What's the news from
Venice ?

How doth that royal merchant, good Antonio ?
I know, he will be glad of our success;
We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece.
Saler. 'Would you had won the fleece that he
bath lost!

Por. There are some shrewd contents in yon' same paper,

That steal the colour from Bassanio's cheek:
Some dear friend dead: else nothing in the
Could turn so much the constitution [world
Of any constant man. What, worse and worse?
With leave, Bassanio; I am half yourself,
And I must freely have the half of any thing
That this same paper brings you.

Bass. O sweet Portia,

Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words,
That ever blotted paper! Gentle lady,
When I did first impart my love to you,
I freely told you all the wealth I had
Ran in my veins, I was a gentleman;
And then I told you true: and yet, dear lady,
Rating myself at nothing, you shall see
How much I was a braggart; when I told you
My state was nothing, I should then have told

That I was worse than nothing; for, indeed,
I have engag'd myself to a dear friend,
Engag'd my friend to his mere enemy,
To feed my means. Here is a letter, lady;
The paper is the body of my friend,
And every word in it a gaping wound,
Issuing life-biood.-But is it true, Salerio?
Have all his ventures fail'd? What, not one hit?
From Tripolis, from Mexico, and England,
From Lisbon, Barbary, and India ?

And not one vessel 'scape the dreadful touch
Of merchant-marring rocks ?

Saler. Not one, my lord.

Besides, it should appear, that if he had
The present money to discharge the Jew,
He would not take it: Never did I know
A creature, that did bear the shape of man,
So keen and greedy to confound a man:
He plies the duke at morning and at night;
And doth impeach the freedom of the state,
If they deny him justice: twenty merchants,
The duke himself, and the magnificoes ⚫
Of greatest port, have all persuaded with him;
But none can drive him from the envious plea
Of forfeiture, of justice, and his bond.

Jes. When I was with him I have heard

him swear,

To Tubal and to Chus, his countrymen,
That he would rather have Antonio's flesh.
Than twenty times the value of the sum
That he did owe him and I know, my lord,
If law, authority, and power deny not,
It will go hard with poor Antonio.

Por. Is it your dear friend, that is thus in trouble?

Bass. The dearest friend to me, the kindest


The best condition'd and unwearied spirit
In doing courtesies; and one in whom
The ancient Roman honour more appears,
Than any that draws breath in Italy.
Por. What sum owes he the Jew?
Bass. For me, three thousand ducats.

• The chief of men.

Por. What, no more!
Pay him six thousand, and deface the bond;
Double six thousand, and then treble that,
Before a friend of this description -
Shall lose a hair through Bassanio's fault.
First go with me to church, and call me wife :
And then away to Venice, to your friend;
For never shall you lie by Portia's side
With an unquiet soul. You shall have gold
To pay the petty debt twenty times over;
When it is paid, bring your true friend along :
My maid Nerissa, and myself, mean time,
Will live as maids and widows. Come, away;
For you shall hence upon your wedding-day;
Bid your friends welcome, show a merry cheer:
Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear.-
But let me hear the letter of your friend.

Bass. [Reads.] Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all miscarried, my creditors grow cruel, my estate is very low, my bond to the Jew is forfeit; and since, in paying it, it is impossible I should live, all debts are cleared between you and I, if I might but see you at my death; notwithstanding, use your pleasure: if your love do not persuade you to come, let not my letter.

Por. O love, despatch all business, and gone.

Bass. Since I have your good leave to


I will make haste; but till I come again,
No bed shall e'er be guilty of my stay,
No rest be interposer 'twixt us twain.




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This is the fool that lent out money gratis ;-
Jailer, look to him.

Ant. Hear me yet, good Shylock.
Shy. I'll have my bond; speak not against
my bond;

I have sworn an oath that I will bave my bond:
Thou call'dst me dog, before thou hadst a


But, since I am a dog, beware my fangs;
The duke shall grant me justice.-I do wonder,
Thou naughty jailer, that thou art so fond ↑
To come abroad with him at his request.
Ant. I pray thee, hear me speak.

Shy. I'll have my bond; I will not hear thee

I'll have my bond; and therefore speak no


I'll not be made a soft and dull-ey'd fool,
To shake the head, relent, and sigh and yield
To Christian intercessors. Follow not;
I'll have no speaking; I will have my bond.
Salan. It is the the most impenetrable cur,
That ever kept with men.

Ant. Let him alone;

I'll follow him no more with bootless prayers.
He seeks my life; his reason well I know;
I oft deliver'd from his forfeitures
Many that have at times made moan to me;
Therefore be hates me.

Salan. I am sure, the duke
Will never grant this forfeiture to hold.



Ant. The duke cannot deny the course
For the commodity that strangers have
With us in Venice, if it be denied,
Will much impeach the justice of the state;
Since that the trade and profit of the city
Consisteth of all nations. Therefore, go:
These griefs and losses have so 'bated me,
That I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh
To-morrow to my bloody creditor.--

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Well, jailer, on :-Pray God, Bassanio come
To see me pay his debt, and then I care not!

SCENE IV.-Belmont.-A Room in POR-
TIA'S House.


Lor. Madam, although I speak it in your pre-

You have a noble and a true conceit
Of god-like amity; which appears most strongly
In bearing thus the absence of your lord.
knew to whom you show this
But, if you

How true a gentlemen you send relief,
How dear a lover of my lord your husband,
I know, you would be prouder of the work,
Than customary bounty can enforce you.
Por. I never did repent for doing good,
Nor shall not now: for in companions
That do converse and waste the time together,
Whose souls do bear an equal yoke of love,
There must be needs a like proportion
of lineaments, of manners, and of spirit;
Which makes me think that this Antonio,
Being the bosom lover of my lord,
Must needs be like my lord: If it be so,
How little is the cost I bave bestow'd,
In purchasing the semblance of my soul
From out the state of hellish cruelty?
This comes too near the praising of myself;
Therefore, no more of it: hear other things.-
Lorenzo, commit into your hands

The husbandry and manage of my house,
Until my lord's return: for mine own part,
I have toward heaven breath'd a secret vow
To live in prayer and contemplation,
Only attended by Nerissa here,

Until her husband and my lord's return:
There is a monastery two miles off,

And there we will abide. I do desire you,
Not to deny this imposition;

The which my love, and some necessity,
Now lays upon you.

Lor. Madam, with all my heart;

I shall obey you in all fair commands.
Por. My people do already know my mid,
And will acknowledge you and Jessica
In place of lord Bassauio and myself.
So fare you well, till we shall meet again.
Lor. Fair thoughts, and bappy hours attend


on you.

Jes. I wish your ladyship all heart's content. Por. I thank you for your wish, and am well pleas'd

wish it back on you: fare you well, Jessica.- [Exeunt JESSICA and LORENZO. Now, Balthazar,

As I have ever found thee honest, true,
So let me find thee still: Take this same letter,
And use thou all the endeavour of a man,
In speed to Padua: see thou render this
Into my cousin's band, doctor Bellario;
And look, what notes and garments he doth
give thee,

Bring them, I pray thee, with imagin'd speed
Unto the tranect, to the common ferry
Which trades to Venice-waste no

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